Getting on the road

So you’ve weighed the pros and cons (there are no cons, just stuff to do to go have fun!) picked an RV, and you’re ready to hit the road, right? Almost….

In between the getting of the RV and the hitting of the road, you need to gear up. Having the ‘right stuff’ will make your camping experience SO MUCH better, but let’s start with the basics. (A link about my gear here).

First, you need to get plugged in (see posts about AC versus DC and Shore Power vs Onboard Power (links coming soon!)).
For that, you may have a power cord that’s built in to your RV, or you may need to purchase one separately; check with the sales person, the owners manual, or send me the year/make/model of your camper to find out.
This connection allows you to bring Shore Power (AC) to your unit, and usually runs all your outlets, Air Conditioner, fridge/freezer, microwave, and other AC powered devices. (A little note about inverters goes here).
(A link for power supply protection here).

Second, you need a way to get water into your RV. When you connect to a water supply at a campsite (or anywhere else for that matter!) it’s generally called ‘city water’, or just ‘water’. This is used to differentiate between the water supply OUTSIDE your RV versus the water supply INSIDE your RV (The tank and pump (link coming soon!). Usually a quality garden hose that’s marked safe for potable water is fine. I recommend two hoses @ 25′ each so you have a spare, AND can reach faucets farther away.

Third, you need a way to get waste OUT of your RV, and that’s where a sewer hose comes in! A sewer hose kit (the hose and all the pieces) is a critical link between your RV and a dump station or site sewer connection, so this is one place you don’t want to skimp out!
I recommend two 10′ hose sections, a clear coupler,  a clear 90 degree elbow, and a clear 45 degree RV side connector with a hose clean out connection.
This kit is what I use: http://www.camco.net/superkit-20-rv-sewer-hose-kit-kit-39659
This is the 45 degree clean out piece I suggest: http://www.camco.net/rhino-blaster-bilingual-39080
I recommend clear so you can see what’s going on in there; it helps troubleshoot issues when they come up.

The rest of the stuff is optional, and we’ll talk more about gear in other posts, but those three things are what you HAVE TO HAVE to make an RV work. 🙂

To drive, or to tow….

There are many things we all agree on in the RV world; camping is fun, camping with friends is better, and it’s important that everyone cleans up their poop (pets and people!).

One of the questions i’ve seen a lot lately is, “Should I buy a motorhome, or a trailer?”
Now, before we get into this, let me clarify this point, we’re simply comparing RV’s that can be driven from one place to another, to RV’s that require a tow vehicle. Inside of those two things there are many more things to consider, but those will be covered in other posts.

A motorhome is an RV that has it’s own propulsion system, that is, its own engine, which means it can be driven from one place to another without another vehicle. These come in various sizes, shapes, layouts, and generally fall into one of three classes, which is covered in another post.

A trailer is an RV that is towed, which means it requires a tow vehicle to move it. The vehicle required is based on the RV you have or want, so be sure to learn all about Tow Capacities before you buy! These generally come in

Motorhomes are easy to get in and drive to where you want to go, so long as you fit where you want to be. The pro is that you don’t have to have a separate vehicle, but the con is that you’ll need to make arrangements for side trips, like groceries, site-seeing, and so on. You can get around that by towing a passenger vehicle, but you’ll lose some of your alreadt not so great gas mileage for that.

With a trailer, you can still go places and see things, but I find it nice to drop the trailer and be able to drive around to wherever I want to go from there. You’ll have to have a tow vehicle capable of handling your trailer, but you may already have one and just want to add a trailer that fits into the specs of your current vehicle.

Regardless of the mode you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy RV’ing all over the place, it’s just a matter of choosing which way you like better.

 

RTFM~!

So many questions, so many buttons, what do I do?!?

I know it’s generally ‘easier’ to drop a post on FaceBook and ask ‘how do I???’, but let’s take a few minutes to talk about the importance of paperwork, most notably, the manuals and guides that came with your RV.

There’s a lot of useful information in all those manuals, pamphlets, guides, books, and so on that came with your RV. If you didn’t get a big stack of stuff, reach out to the manufacturer and see if you can get copies of all that stuff.

In my TT, I have an accordion folder full of all the manuals, and all the paperwork for the stuff in the RV, so it’s all in one place. I’ve also got some digital stuff I keep, and the most important one is a note with the make, model, and serial number of all my big items so I can get to that info quickly. I recommend  having that info handy for:
The Fridge
The A/C
The Furnace
The Water Heater
The Coach or Trailer
any other major components that are separate from the body of the RV.

Having that ‘cheat sheet’ on hand makes it easy for you to get going on parts and repairs, but having all the manuals on board and organized will save you lots of time when you’re looking for answers.

Remember, with RV’s, it’s not IF something will break, it’s WHEN will something break! 🙂